Residents of Cumaral, Meta seek to protect rivers from Calgary-based Parex Resources Llanos 94 oil project in Colombia
Photo: El Cuatro Mosquetero.
On September 23, El Cuatro Mosquetero reported: “The inhabitants of Cumaral have been peacefully protesting against the socialization of an oil project by the company Parex, a Canadian multinational dedicated to the exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons in Colombia.”
The article continues: “At the entrance of the municipality, the community held a sit-in that prevented the entry of oil machinery into the sector. They also demonstrated in the Municipal House of Culture with posters, banners and noises rejecting the socialization of the Llanos 94 project that aims to enter the territory in the Chapero Alto area.”
María Cristina Cortes says: “If we allow the machinery to arrive, the Guacavia, Humea and Guatiquía rivers will be polluted and that will lower the course of the Meta River. That is why we prevent the vehicular entry of the company we cannot allow those damages.”
The municipality of Cumaral decided in a popular consultation on June 4, 2017, to say no to the exploration, drilling and production of hydrocarbons in the territory.
In December 2019, NS Energy reported: “Oil and gas exploration company GeoPark has signed an agreement with Parex Resources to acquire a 50% working interest in the Llanos 94 block in Colombia. The Llanos 94 block, which is operated by Parex, is located on trend with GeoPark’s Llanos 34 block.”
VSM25 in Piedras, Meta
On September 1, Ecos del Combeima also reported that the Departmental Assembly in Tolima has rejected a contract awarded to Calgary-based Parex Resources.
The article highlights: “Deputy Renzo García said that environmental damage would be caused to the Ibagué aquifer and that surface and groundwater would be contaminated.”
In July 2013, the residents of the municipality of Piedras in the department of Tolima voted in a popular consultation against large-scale mining activities on their territory.
Despite that popular consultation, RCN Radio reported that in July 2019: “The National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) signed two new contracts with the Canadian multinational Parex Resources Colombia Ltd, with the purpose of carrying out exploration and exploitation activities in the departments of Tolima and Meta.”
Aguas Blancas in Bajo Simacota, Santander
On June 29 of this year, Peace Brigades International accompanied the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights (CREDHOS) on a visit to the Parex Aguas Blancas gas/oil field in Bajo Simacota, Santander.
There we heard community concerns about how Parex operations had contaminated local water supplies.
Parex and fracking
On July 9, 2022, Infobae reported that the new government’s intention to ban fracking could be an issue “for the four oil multinationals that signed the contracts with the Colombian State, for the commercial and experimental development of crude oil and gas in unconventional fields in Colombia” including “Parex Resources (with one contract)…”
That exploration and production (E&P) contract was signed on September 18, 2014, for Block VMM-9 but has been suspended, according to Parex in this December 2021 report, “due the lack of regulations to explore and exploit unconventional hydrocarbons.”
26 new blocks for Parex
On January 6, 2022, the Colombian newspaper Portafolio reported that of the 69 blocks auctioned between 2019 and 2021, 26 blocks went to Parex Resources. Eighteen of the 26 bids by Parex were made in December 2021.
We continue to follow this situation.
Photo: Protest against Parex, September 23, 2022.